The first thing to say is that Paddy McAloon’s first album of new material in 13 years will not disappoint any of the fans he has amassed in the nearly 30 years of Prefab Sprout’s existence. Crimson/Red sounds exactly as you would want it to, contains lyrics as sophisticated as any McAloon has penned and comes complete with authentic 1980s production values.
But – and you might have known there was a but coming – if forced this reviewer would have to admit to missing Wendy Smith’s floaty vocals (always a key element of the PS sound) and can’t help wondering why, when he recorded the album entirely by himself, McAloon resisted the temptation finally to ditch the Prefab name. Small gripes. Lovely album from a true one-off.